Lynwood High School junior Carl Lewis recently got to experience something that many sports fans often dream of – the chance to go one-on-one with professional basketball stars and college standouts.
Since July, Lewis and several of Lynwood’s High’s most skilled basketball players have gone toe-to-toe against Real Run Basketball’s top talent, where they practiced ball handling, endurance and passing drills. The Lynwood students then had a chance to put these new skills into practice with weekly matches against various college and professional players.
“It was really fun and helpful,” Lewis said. “The college and professional players came out here to help us become better athletes with better attitudes and it ended up being a great experience.”
Real Run Basketball, founded by former professional basketball player and Lynwood High assistant coach DeAnthony Langston in 1998, teaches high school players about building personal character and good sportsmanlike conduct by providing them with positive support. This is the first year Lynwood High has participated in the Real Run Basketball summer league, thanks to Langston’s new coaching position.
“Real Run Basketball brings some great energy here to Lynwood since we have amazing top 50 college-level players, elite level high school players and even professional overseas players.” Langston said.
The program holds two games per day on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays – which gives Lewis and two other Lynwood High juniors, Tyler Parks and Benjamin Simeran, plenty of time to work with the program’s other participants.
“Hosting this summer league at Lynwood High brings a great deal of positive energy to our campus,” Lynwood Unified Superintendent Gudiel R. Crosthwaite said. “It’s especially important for our students to meet with the college players since they can encourage them to pursue higher education options.”
Lynwood High basketball coach Jason Crowe called the summer league games a major blessing for the Lynwood High students, giving them the chance to receive academic career advice from college players who attend such institutions as Washington State University, Pepperdine University, USC and Yale University.
“It’s a great opportunity for our students to be able to develop their skills with older, more experienced players,” Crow said. “It gives our student athletes something to aspire to and lets them know what aspects of the game and their lives that they can work on.”
In the past, the program has played host to a range of professional basketball players including Lamond Murray, Kevin Love and DeMar DeRozan. Langston said he hopes to have Paul George, an Oklahoma City Thunder small forward, meet with the program’s participants before the current season ends.
As the summer ends, the participants are competing in an elimination tournament to see which of the program’s eight teams will be crowned as this year’s champion.